5 Body parts prone to dreaded dryness
Dealing with dryness anywhere other than your pits is, well, the pits. But, try as you may, you just can't seem to keep some body parts from drying out like the Mojave Desert. We've got a few tips for dealing with those parts most prone to getting dry.
There are few things more frustrating than being mid-conversation when seemingly all of your saliva decides to skip out and leave you feeling parched — not to mention barely able to eke out anything other than small talk. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, doesn't have to ruin your day, though. "Treatment for dry mouth can be divided into the following three categories: saliva substitution, saliva stimulation and prevention of caries and yeast (candida) infection," explains Steven B. Horne, D.D.S. Staying hydrated and limiting caffeine intake fall into the first of these categories. When it comes to saliva stimulation, your best bet is to pop in a stick of sugar-free gum, chew on a raisin or — as strange as it sounds to deal with "cottonmouth" — wedge a small, tightly-wadded ball of cotton thread between your teeth and gums. As for prevention of infections, the key, of course, is practicing good oral hygiene.
The discomfort of dry eyes is an altogether-too-frequent sensation for some people (like yours truly). And since eye dryness can be caused by a whole host of factors from allergies to staring at a computer screen all day, it can be difficult to predict or avoid. Happily, relief comes in the form of a sweet little over-the-counter bottle labeled "artificial tears." According to the National Eye Institute, these magical drops — along with gels, gel inserts or ointments — should be your first line of defense against dry eye. "They offer temporary relief and provide an important replacement of naturally produced tears in patients with aqueous tear deficiency. Avoid artificial tears with preservatives if you need to apply them more than four times a day, or preparations with chemicals that cause blood vessels to constrict. Doctors also recommend drinking plenty of fluids, getting lots of shut-eye and utilizing vitamins and supplements such as flax seed.
Remember how I said there were few things more frustrating than dealing with a dry mouth? Well, dealing with vaginal dryness is definitely one of those. Nobody wants to be in the throes of passion only to be deterred by the fact that your vagina is as arid as Death Valley. Seriously, it's inconvenient and, quite frankly, it's painful. First, if it's something you're dealing with, get thee to a gynecologist. You're going to want to give your OB-GYN a heads-up, since there is a chance it could be health-related. Second, take a moment to size up the foreplay situation — sometimes a simple lack of stimulation beforehand can be the cause of dryness, so chat up your lover for a little extra attention. Once you've checked those off the list, head to your nearest drugstore and grab a few handy products, like Vagisil Moisturizing Wash. Oh, and lube. You can't go wrong with lube. And, here's some happy news, more sex is another solution. "Use it or lose it applies here," says Dr. Oz. "The more sex you have, the more you will stimulate blood flow to your genitals to improve lubrication."
Why do elbows tend to get so dry and scratchy? What's the deal? Elbows are an unfortunate body part to dry out, because they are seriously unattractive when they're dry. They're sort of gray and ashy, like an elephant's forehead. But, unless you have a skin condition like eczema, the most likely explanation for your pachyderm-ian elbows is lack of hydration. To combat it, make sure you're chugging plenty of water and invest in a heavy-duty moisturizer or body butter. Or follow the advice from Dr. Andrew Ordon of The Doctors and slather your elbows in petroleum jelly before stepping into a steamy shower — it'll help the moisturizer penetrate deeper. Afterwards, pat 'em dry and top with vitamin E oil.
It's summer, so chances are you're going to be living in sandals. While that makes for some easy, breezy fun in the sun, it unfortunately also means that your feet are going to be exposed to the elements a lot more and, subsequently, be far more prone to symptoms of dryness like cracking and peeling. We know... yuck, right? If you've got some scaly Godzilla feet going on, a pedicure may be in order. In between trips to the spa, whip up this honey and sugar foot scrub created by podiatrist Dr. Krista Archer. You can also try coating your feet in body butter and sliding on thick socks to sleep in — that insider trick should help keep your pretty little pedicured feet nice and supple.
This post is sponsored by Vagisil.
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